Investment spurs BRI countries’ growthTwo-way investment

tween China and economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative ex

ceeded $130 billion between 2013 and 2018, injecting new growth momentum into BRI-rela

ted countries and contributing to recovery of the global economy, senior Chinese officials said on Monday.

China’s direct investment in BRI-related countries grew by 5.2 percent a

nnually on average to surpass $90 billion between 2013 and 2018, Song Lihong, an officia

l in the Ministry of Commerce’s Comprehensive Department, said at a news conference.

Song said that in the same period, China had received a total of

$40 billion in inbound investment from BRI countries as two-way investment deepened.

Within the five years, the value of the projects completed

by Chinese companies in BRI economies amounted to $400 billion, Song said.

The value of trade in goods between China and BRI-related economies exceeded $6 trillion in the same period, an av

rage annual growth of 4 percent, higher than the overall growth of China’s foreign trade, he added.

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Regarding the second Belt and Road Forum for Intern

ational Cooperation, to be held in Beijing on Thursday through Saturday, S

ong said the ministry will help deepen economic and trade cooperation with other coun

tries. “China will build more free trade zones with countries that are willing to do so,” Song added.

“As for the existing free trade zones, we will reduce administrative barriers in trade

and investment and push the formation of a big Belt and Road marketplace.”

While some critics have argued that the initiative will lead countries i

nto debt traps, Song said debt can be solved through joint efforts to promote the devel

opment of BRI economies. “Even though some countries may have high debt levels, as their pace of indus

trialization, urbanization and modernization accelerates, their debts will gradually decrease.”

Joe Kaeser, president and CEO of Siemens AG, said, “If an initiative like the BRI unifies more than two-thirds of the global

population, it will create massive infrastructure and economic movement that will build its own rules.”

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Ruwan Wijewardene, Sri Lankan state defense min

nister, said on Tuesday that Islamic extremists staged the attacks in

Sri Lanka in retaliation to the shootings in two New Zealand mosques in March that claimed 50 lives.

And the blasts lay bare several threats confronting the whole world. First

of all, the reflux of IS terrorists formerly active in Iraq and Syria to countries that have not su

ffered large-scale serial terrorist strikes in a while poses a serious threat to their people’s safety.

Sri Lanka had enjoyed relative peace after the Liberation Tige

rs of Tamil Eelam, a militant organization demandin

g a separate homeland for Tamils in northeastern Sri Lanka, was defeated in 2009.

Governments have been keeping a close watch on the small nu

mber of people that have returned to their countries after atten

ding IS training camps. Yet the lack of coordination mechanisms among countries seemin

gly helps the terrorists evade surveillance and collude with extremist forces outside their countries.

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Air tickets, homestays sold out for May Day holiday

A travel rush is expected for the upcoming May Day holiday, a

s air tickets and high-speed railway tickets on multiple routes were sold out, while ho

mestay hotels at destinations including Beijing and Shanghai were fully booked.

While only one week away, the May Day holiday this year is extended to fo

ur days – one day more than last year – and will see a travel craze comparable to that  ty

pically seen during China’s Spring Festival, a traditional holiday for family reunion.

According to Qunar, one of China’s largest online travel agencies, quite a few people chose to take a few days off before or af

ter the May 1 to 4 holiday, so that they can enjoy a journey lasting upwards to nine days.

The travel rush is expected to come as early as April 27, and will reach a climax on April 29 and 30.

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NPC reviews Securities Law amendmentdamental law governin

Country may soon adopt revision to pave way for capital market reform

The top legislature deliberated on the draft revision of the Securities Law over the weeke

nd, signaling China may soon adopt the revision to pave the way for key capital market reforms, experts said.

On Saturday, the draft revision was submitted to a bimonthly s

ession of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for a third reading, Xinh

ua News Agency reported. The session began on Saturday and continues through Tuesday.

Revision of the fundamental law governing the capital market h

as lasted for six years, with 2015 and 2017 having seen readings of two draft versions.

“The latest draft version is of great importance because it will provide legal grounds for the registration-based initial pub

lic offering system-a key reform that China’s capital market has been awaiting for years,” said Dong Dengxin, director of th

e Finance and Securities Institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology.

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The drafts were presented by the NPC’s law committ

tee to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee during a bimonthly session that began on

Saturday. In August, the Standing Committee began a preliminary review of all six parts and 1,034 items of the civil code.

Another health related item added to the code addressed human testing for new drug

s or treatments. It provides that all activities involving human testing must protect the subject’s health.

These activities include developing new drugs, medical equipment and prevention and treatment methods. They now

require approval from an ethics committee, as well as by competent authorities.

The draft amendment to the Drug Administration Law said the nation should encourage the development of new

drugs, according to Cong Bin, a forensic expert and a senior legislator on the law committee.

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rime scene officials inspect the explosion area at Shangri-La

Of the dead in the blasts, there are 35 foreigners, the police confirmed. Hospital sources

had earlier said nine foreigners were among those killed while 13 others have been injured.

Airline says flights continue despite curfew

SriLankan Airlines is telling passengers boo

ked on flights out of the country that they will be able to fly despite the curfew imposed.

The carrier says in a statement that travelers on all airlines operating out of Bandaranai

ke International Airport can access the airport by showing their tickets and passports at checkpoints.

The airline says security has been tightened at the airp

ort, and it advises passengers to arrive four hours before their scheduled flights.

Both Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Mi

nister Ranil Wickremesinghe have condemned the attacks and appealed for calm.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said t

he tri-forces and the police are conducting a thorough probe into the explosions.

In a special statement, the police urged the publi

c to stay indoors and not gather at the explosion sites which had been sealed off.

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The first draft also improved rules on developing a m

ulti-layer capital market system, strengthening investor p

rotection, promoting securities industry innovations and enhancing regulation.

New revisions were submitted for a second reading in April 2017 to

improve regulation on such areas as stock trading, acquisitions of listed firms, information disclos

ure and investor protection. The second draft also demanded the State Council to gradually advance the IPO syst

em reform in accordance with authorization granted by the top legislature.

Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language “Commentaries on International Affairs”.

On Thursday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) release

d a panel report on the case the United States lodged in December 2016 against China for its

use of tariff-rate quotas for wheat, rice, and corn. The WTO panel ruled that China’s administration of tariff-rate quo

tas violated its commitment to administer them transparently, while rejecting

the appeal by the American side which demanded that China release the information on tariff-rate quotas.

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Shanghai purrs over new Hello Kitty theme park

The world’s only Hello Kitty-themed pavilion brings a fantasy world with a retro decor for fans in Shanghai.

Hello Kitty Shanghai Times was launched by propert

y developer Shimao Group and Japanese animation powerhouse Sanrio on March 29.

By creating an immersive experience of Shanghai during three symbolic periods of the city’s history – the 1930s, 1980s and today – the

indoor theme park provides a unique experience for visitors with Sanrio’s best-known characters, incl

uding Hello Kitty, My Melody, Badtz-Maru, Pompompurin, Keroppi and Cinnamoroll.

The time travel-themed attraction is located at Shimao Festiva

l City on bustling East Nanjing Road, and is expected to attract 2 million visitors a year. S

preading across three floors, the play area takes up a total gross floor area of about 6,000 square meters.

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Much work remains in Sino-US trade negotiations

China and the United States have made new progress in negotiating the text of an econom

ic and trade deal, but much work remains to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

Negotiating teams from the two countries are hashing out the text of the deal, including

an enforcement mechanism, on the basis of mutual respect and benefit, said Gao Feng, ministry spokesman.

The remarks came as the world’s two biggest economies have been i

ntensifying their consultations and aiming to break the deadlock in a timely manner.

In the most recent round of trade consultations, the negotiators discussed technolo

gy transfers, protection of intellectual property rights, nontariff measures, the service sector, agriculture, tra

de imbalances and enforcement mechanisms, according to earlier reports.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China said in a recent white paper that the US business commu

nity in China, long an advocate of good bilateral relations, can no longer be relied on to be a positive anchor.

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